Overlander Car Issues With ‚Tina Tortuga‘

A bright lamp enlightened all the issues of my newly named landrover Tortuga, #tinatortuga. I was standing under the lifted car with a mechanic to check the state of it. There’s an oil leaking and some unsolved problems with the prop shaft, what brought me to this mechanic. The source of leaking was founded quickly, but as I requested we went trough the entire vehicle, more or less.

Beside the leaking from transfer box there’s also leaking from oil filter housing, Even the tank is leaking and had to be repaired as some bushes and hoses has to be fixed and replaced too. Despite there isn’t much electronics in that vehicle it turned out difficult to find the bug which is blowing my indicators and hazard lights continually. In short, quite an overhaul.

I need a stay for the time of repairs. The estimated period of four to five days was doubled, as the costs of repairs was too, due some difficulties, mainly with the transfer box. All bearings of that part must be replaced. I didn’t care so much about the time, since there was heavy rain predicted. All i needed was a quit and dry spot to be.

Luckily I found a beautiful place outside town of Mbombela/Nelspruit. Friendly hosts welcomed me and showed me around the self catering house where I got a nice room with a glass door towards pool side and amazing view to the valley. That’s the place to stay for a few quit days. Reading, writing journal and sorting photos next to the pool. Having a beer or a glass of red wine in the evenings, after cooking myself a tasty meal, and chatting with the owners, while waiting my car got fixed. That’s all part of traveling too and must try to use the time as good as possible. 

Just the day before I could pick up ‚Tina Tortuga‘, another Landrover Defender arrived at the Lodge. Same model as mine and even the same color. A couple got off the car and settled in the accommodation. It turned out they are from Brazil and already four years on the road. So there was lots to chat about and share travel stories and experiences. And of course, as a Landy driver there’s also about workshop stories. That lovely couple gave me a lift to the landy-workshop and get a oil/filter change for their ‚Pandora‘ too. Who wants to see more of the journey from Eduardo and Rafaela visit their website: www.pandoraontheroad.com.br

Ten lazy days later I checked out of ‚Highland Creeks‘ and got ‚Tina Tortuga‘ back from the workshop. Since it was late of the day and weather forecast predicted another storm with heavy rain, I decided to stay another night at an apartment on my way out of town. Another jewel in the mountains as I found out. After all, the day ended beautifully with a glass of wine and a bath in a tube with a view. 


Es drängte mich weiter zu kommen. Aus diesem unfreundlichen Hotel raus. Raus aus der Stadt. Ans Schwarze Meer, ohne grossen Hafen, dafür mit Sandstrand. Doch nach zwei Kilometer Fahrt streikte die Honda auf’s Neue. Mitten in der Kreuzung, auf den Tramschienen, ging der Motor aus und liesst sich nicht mehr starten. Auf den Bürgersteig geschoben, setze ich mich erst ins Café nebenan und checkte die Lage. Glücklicherweise gab’s nicht weit entfernt eine Honda-Werkstatt, die einen Bus vorbei schickte. Der Fahrer und ich waren soeben am Einladen, als spontan ein weiterer Motorradfahrer anhielt und mithalf. Ein weiteres Beispiel, wie ein verbindendes Element, hier das Motorradfahren, ein Zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl vermittelt. Wir sollten öfters nach Gemeinsamkeiten und Verbindendes schauen und weniger nach dem was uns unterscheidet und trennt.

Trotz allen philosophischen Überlegungen, der Fehler am Motorrad musste gefunden werden. Die anfängliche Vermutung, es liege an der Benzinpumpe, würde eine weitere Woche Warten auf das Ersatzteil bedeuten. Eine Woche, in der ich hoffte, viele Kilometer hinter mich zu bringen. Dann aber die Erleichterung; der Fehler lag an einem kleinen Schalter, der den elektrischen Zugang zur Benzinpumpe unterbrach, oder so. Egal, Hauptsache die Maschine läuft, ohne lange Wartezeiten, ohne grosse Kosten. Der Tag war zwar fast verloren, dafür gewann ich einen weiteren (Motorrad-)Freund mehr.

Eine gute Stunde Fahrt gen Süden liegen einige Orte direkt am Meer. Die Badesaison ist vorbei, dementsprechend verlassen wirkte die Gegend auch. Der Weg zur angepeilten Unterkunft, führte auf lose Schotterwege, die dann in Sand führten. Also die schwere Maschine mühsam drehen und weitersuchen. Immerhin war ich am Meer. Die Motorradstiefeln ausziehen und die Füsse ins kalte Schwarze Meer stellen. Kurz vor Sonnenuntergang fand ich doch noch ein Gästehaus. Und Abendessen. Und Bier. Alles wird gut.

Project; Give Girls A Future

One of the manager told us the entire history of that project. While my friend wrote it down, i got briefly the purpose of it. To get the girls from the street, out of drugs and their struggle in life, teach them a profession and help them to find a job. Tailoring is a good way. Just recently another seven girls from the project found a job in a big tailor factory, he told us. The office is occupied by 6 persons, busy at their desks. Colorful fabrics and and finished bags are lying around.

We are led around the building which stands just at edge of a slum. In there upper levels are the rooms for education, a library and the sewing machines. Next to famous brands like Singer stands machines from China. No matter, as long they do their work. Three women were busy and explained how they produce washable sanitary pads. Good idea to produce something reusable, but despite they’re convinced it’s easy to clean them properly, i still doubt it since they use to wash with cold water.

On roof top young women with their children just finished lunch.The kids were playful, posed for photos and some older ones wanted try themselves to take pictures. A couple boys gathered in a corner to play cards. When get down again, a dance class just started in one of the rooms. With the rhythm in our ears we leave the place.

times of repairs

On travel, there are times of joy ..and there are times of repairs. Happy to see my Land Rover again, but there was quite few things to repair, to improve and to test again. The clutch must be replaced, as the pedal didn’t work properly too. To replace the word battery seemed to be an easy thing, despite the narrow place under the seat, that’s why i also put some switches and wiring in different places. Wondering why the new board battery won’t charge lead to a problem on the controller of the dual-battery-system. We took it out and put a manually switch between the batteries instead. Now the fridge didn’t work anymore. A few coffees later, and after i took some cash in hands, Gabriel could fix my precious fridge. There was more small things to fix, including a photo lens (fixed quick by Nikon Service in Thika Road Mall), but meanwhile i learned to be patient on traffic jam too. There seems only one rule on Nairobi’s streets: no rules! The start of rain season didn’t make it easier to navigate trough the city, especially at night. On the camp of Jungle Junction soaked the terrain to a muddy flat.Just right to test the couple new Maxxis off-road tyres i got here. 🙂